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RF-4B Phantom
5 DECEMBER 2013

McDonnell Douglas RF-4B Phantom II

RF – Type (Reconnaissance Fighter); 4 – (Numerical Designation); B – (Version or Variant) The McDonnell Douglas RF-4B was the photo reconnaissance version of the versatile F-4 Phantom II. It first flew on March 12, 1965 with the first delivery going to Marine Composite Utility Squadron Three (VMCJ-3), based at MCAS El Toro, in May […]

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Tyrone Power Marine Aviator
5 DECEMBER 2013

Did You Know About Tyrone Power?

Legendary film and stage actor Tyrone Power was widely known as a “matinee idol” during a career that spanned more than 25 years. He starred in numerous films including The Long Grey Line, The Mark Of Zorro, The Sun Also Rises and A Yank In The RAF. Power’s performance as an accused murderer in the […]

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Building a Foundation for the Next 100 Years

This is my first year with the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation, and it has already been a whirlwind of events, great people, and dedicated volunteers. Thanks to everyone for your support and advice as I ramp up our public relations and community outreach efforts. As you well know, this year marks the Centennial of Marine […]

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The Visionaries

By Lieutenant Colonel Ronald J. Brown U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired The wake of the World War II, with its ominous specter of nuclear weapons, forced the Marine Corps to rethink existing amphibious doctrine. The conclusion was that previous methods of ship-to-shore movement were no longer sufficient to ensure a successful landing so alternative methods had to be developed. Several options […]

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Marine Helicopter Squadron 1

By Lieutenant Colonel Ronald J. Brown U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired Marine Helicopter Squadron 1 (HMX-1) is unique in the Marine Corps because it has several distinct missions and at least three different chains-of-command providing guidance and tasking. HMX-1 was the first Marine rotary-wing squadron. It “stood up” at Marine Corps Airfield Quantico in Virginia on 1 December 1947 and […]

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sikorsky
5 DECEMBER 2013

Sikorsky HO3S-1

By Lieutenant Colonel Ronald J. Brown U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired The Sikorsky HO3S-1 was the first helicopter assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps. The HO3S was the naval variant of Sikorky’s model S-51 commercial helicopter. Despite its observation designation, the HO3S was actually a utility aircraft used for a variety of roles. Among the 46 conceptual uses initially listed […]

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Pitcarin First Marine Helicopter
5 DECEMBER 2013

Pitcarin OP-1 Autogiro

By Lieutenant Colonel Ronald J. Brown U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired The first rotary-winged aircraft used by naval aviation was not a helicopter. It was an autogiro, an airplane propelled by a normal front-mounted aircraft engine but kept aloft by rotating overhead wings, a phenomenon known as “autorotation.” Although rather ungainly looking due their stubby upturned wings, large tails, and drooping […]

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Early Naval Helicopters

By Lieutenant Colonel Ronald J. Brown U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired The first U.S. Navy experience with rotary-wing aircraft was not a good one. The Pitcarin OP-1 autogiro, an airplane not a true helicopter, had been tested and found wanting during the era between the World Wars. It was not until Igor Sikorsky introduced his VS-316 model helicopter on 13 […]

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First Marine Helicopter Pilot
5 DECEMBER 2013

Who was the First Marine Helicopter Pilot?

By Lieutenant Colonel Ronald J. Brown U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired Marine Corps Historical Center Photo Collection LtCol Armond H. DeLalio, recipient of the Navy Cross for heroism as a pilot with Marine Scout-Bomber Squadron 241 during the battle of Midway and a Marine Corps helicopter pioneer, was honored in 1965 when an elementary school at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, […]

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U.S. Naval Aviation Designations

By Lieutenant Colonel Ronald J. Brown U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired During the Korean conflict, the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics used designation systems that conveyed a lot of information about its squadrons and aircraft in a concise manner. Squadron Designations: The Bureau recognized three aircraft squadron types: lighter than air (Z); heavier than air (V); and helicopter (H). In addition, […]

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